Top 10 Bistro & Dining Sets For Beautiful Al Fresco Dining
May 18, 2022

With the sun starting to make an appearance, it’s time to get your garden in full swing for al fresco season. Whether you fancy a garden dining set to eat meals regularly outside or a bistro set for lunch and light refreshments, or even to read a good book with a beverage while basking in the sun, we have plenty of outdoor dining sets to choose from. With everything from traditional to modern looks, wooden and metal designs, and all things in between, you’re sure to find the perfect one to fit in with your garden theme. You’ll soon be ready to eat al fresco in the utmost style.

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Dining Set for You

Buying a garden furniture set is about more than just having somewhere to dine in the sun. There are multiple things you should consider before making your purchase.

 

Size

Is your set mainly for you and a partner or will you often have friends and family over for lunch? Bistro sets are ideal for couples, whereas there are of course lots of different options when it comes to how many people outdoor dining sets will seat. Think about the space it will take up too – if space is limited, you might want to opt for a modular set, whereby all the seats push in after use to create a compact ‘cube’. 

 

Style

Do you prefer warm, wooden charm or a sleeker, metal finish? Or perhaps it’s modern rattan you can envisage on your patio? Outdoor dining sets come in varying colours too, with grey being very on-trend right now, but think about all options to make sure you’ll be happy with your purchase long-term. There are some other stylistic features to look out for too, like fire pits or ice buckets in the centre of the table for an extra-luxurious feel, parasol holes if you want to add some shade, and tempered glass tabletops which add a sleek finish and are nice and easy to wipe clean. 

 

Durability 

Metal, wood and rattan are all durable materials for garden furniture, though they inevitably do weather eventually. Wooden outdoor tables and chairs are pre-treated for weather resistance, while metal is often coated to help it withstand the elements, which really lengthens the lifespan of the sets. Rattan is also extremely long-lasting and withstands both rain and UV light without fading in colour. Read our Garden Furniture Buying Guide for more on each material type to find out which is best for you.

 

Maintenance

Wooden and metal furniture requires some maintenance once every so often, while rattan barely needs any TLC. Consider how much time you’ll have to dedicate to maintenance and make your choice accordingly. Read our blog on How to Care for Garden Furniture for a more in-depth look at the maintenance requirements of each type of set. 

 

Price

While bistro sets are inevitably cheaper due to their smaller size, larger sets come with a bigger price tag and, generally speaking, metal options tend to be the more affordable choice, compared to wood and rattan. Plus, the more features there are (fire pits in the table, tempered glass tabletops and so on), the more you’ll pay. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune – if money’s tight, read our blog on How to Transform a Garden on a Budget for inspiration. 

 

The Best Wooden Outdoor Dining Sets

Natural and rustic, wooden garden furniture fits in seamlessly in the garden. It also offers the benefits of being kind to the environment (as long as it’s made from sustainably sourced timber), and easy maintenance. Plus, it’s easy to paint if you want a more personalised finish to help it fit in with your existing garden decor. Read our blog on How to Paint Garden Furniture for more on this topic.

LifestyleGarden® Nassau Bistro Set featuring Social Plastic®

This stunning wooden and recycled plastic table and chairs are so much more than just furniture - they’re bringing about a circular, ethical economy. This LifestyleGarden® Nassau Bistro Set features Social Plastic®, which is 100% recycled material and improves the lives of people in developing countries. Collectors receive digital tokens for the plastic they collect, which can be used for basic family necessities, like groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition and more. Not only will every Nassau chair be made from the equivalent of 175 recycled plastic bottles, but the range is already committed to utilising the equivalent of 13.2million bottles (or 264,000kgs) in its first year. That’s a lot of plastic! If you love these chairs as much as we do, you can find them on our website in four gorgeous colourways: Coral Sand, Peony, Sage Green and Honey. 

 

Woodshaw Appleton Round Picnic Bench

Perfect if you’re looking for something for casual dining with a classic design. The Woodshaw Appleton Round Picnic Bench features a wooden round picnic-style table and four bench seats that will accommodate up to eight people. It’s pressure treated to preserve the timber and prevent rot.

 

Charles Taylor 8-Seater Chair Square Table Set

Kit your garden out with this contemporary square dining set that seats 8 people and includes seat cushions, a cushion storage bag, a matching 2.7m parasol, and a parasol base. Choose from either a green or burgundy colour palette to match your garden style.

 

Our Favourite Rattan Outdoor Dining Sets

Rattan outdoor dining sets are hugely popular as they’re stylish, comfortable, lightweight and easy to maintain. They’re also highly weather-resistant, withstanding rain and UV light without fading in colour.

 

Monaco 9-Seater Rattan Effect Corner Dining Set

You’ll be swooning over this stunning dining seat with its plush look and feel. This popular L-shaped 9-seater rattan outdoor dining set is designed with a durable and weather-resistant rattan effect weave and comes with soft, padded cushions for extra comfort. Perfect for summer entertaining year after year. 

Monaco 6-Seater Rattan Effect Dining Set

With comfy cushioned chairs and a tempered glass tabletop, this outdoor dining set for six is perfect for families, with a couple of seats for visitors too. It features a handy parasol hole so you can add some welcome shade.

Pacific Lifestyle 8-Seater Bermuda Cube Set

The perfect choice if you love entertaining but lack space, this Bermuda Cube Set features four chairs plus four footstools, which double up as extra seats. Its nifty design allows you to stack the cushions together and push the chairs right under the table, creating a neat ‘cube’ to save space.

 

The Top Metal Garden Dining Sets

Durable, easy to clean and generally more affordable than other types of outdoor furniture – what’s not to love? It’s no wonder metal garden furniture is a popular choice. Here are our top picks.

 

Rowlinson Vienna 4-Seater Aluminium Dining Set 

With an intricate lattice design, this attractive metal dining set is popular for a reason. It’s durable, stylish and has a lightweight aluminium construction, so it’s easy to move around your patio or garden.

LeisureGrow Outdoor Turin Metal Bistro Set 

With Eden season-proof cushions, stain-resistant fabric and a modern feel, this Turin Metal Bistro Set looks great in contemporary gardens. It also has a wood-effect aluminium tabletop for added style.

Charles Bentley Folding Metal Bistro Set 

This simple metal bistro table and chair set is foldable, making it ideal for smaller gardens and balconies as you can get it out only when you need it, and store it away easily afterwards. Powder-coated, it’s resistant to rust, with the coating helping to protect it from the elements.

 

You simply can’t beat eating outdoors together when the sun is shining, and with the right set you’ll have a whole summer of al fresco feasts to enjoy. 

Not seen anything that takes your fancy in our top picks? Whether you’re after metal, wood or rattan, a larger set or a bistro set, you’ll find something to suit in our wider range – check out our full garden dining furniture collection now and get ready to live life outdoors.